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Proceedings Paper

Lead salt TE-cooled imaging sensor development
Author(s): Kenton Green; Sung-Shik Yoo; Christopher Kauffman
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Paper Abstract

Progress on development of lead-salt thermoelectrically-cooled (TE-cooled) imaging sensors will be presented. The imaging sensor architecture has been integrated into field-ruggedized hardware, and supports the use of lead-salt based detector material, including lead selenide and lead sulfide. Images and video are from a lead selenide focal plane array on silicon ROIC at temperatures approaching room temperature, and at high frame rates. Lead-salt imagers uniquely possess three traits: (1) Sensitive operation at high temperatures above the typical ‘cooled’ sensor maximum (2) Photonic response which enables high frame rates faster than the bolometric, thermal response time (3) Capability to reliably fabricate 2D arrays from solution-deposition directly, i. e. monolithically, on silicon. These lead-salt imagers are less expensive to produce and operate compared to other IR imagers based on II-VI HgCdTe and III-V InGaAsSb, because they do not require UHV epitaxial growth nor hybrid assembly, and no cryo-engine is needed to maintain low thermal noise. Historically, there have been challenges with lead-salt detector-to-detector non-uniformities and detector noise. Staring arrays of lead-salt imagers are promising today because of advances in ROIC technology and fabrication improvements. Non-uniformities have been addressed by on-FPA non-uniformity correction and 1/f noise has been mitigated with adjustable noise filtering without mechanical chopping. Finally, improved deposition process and measurement controls have enabled reliable fabrication of high-performance, lead-salt, large format staring arrays on the surface of large silicon ROIC wafers. The imaging array performance has achieved a Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference (NETD) of 30 mK at 2.5 millisecond integration time with an f/1 lens in the 3-5 μm wavelength band using a two-stage TE cooler to operate the FPA at 230 K. Operability of 99.6% is reproducible on 240 × 320 format arrays.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 June 2014
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9070, Infrared Technology and Applications XL, 90701G (24 June 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2053302
Show Author Affiliations
Kenton Green, Northrop Grumman Corp. (United States)
Sung-Shik Yoo, Northrop Grumman Corp. (United States)
Christopher Kauffman, Northrop Grumman Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9070:
Infrared Technology and Applications XL
Bjørn F. Andresen; Gabor F. Fulop; Charles M. Hanson; Paul R. Norton, Editor(s)

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